Red Carpets in Icy Berlin

Highlight on “Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power” by Nina Menkes

This panoramic documentary analyses the male gaze in cinema, based on Nina Menkes’ lecture “Sex and Power: The Visual Language of Oppression”

Berlinale website
Watch Menkes explain her decision to make the documentary on the festival’s website – a film which took 2 years to make!

Right now in icy Berlin, the famous Berlinale Film Festival is on. In this post, I highlight some of my favorite films showing this weekend – mainly movies with female-centred themes.

The screening of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at the Berlinale Film Festival on Feb 6 2014
Poster for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Flashbulbs at the Festival

My first spotlight is on a panoramic documentary that most intrigues me – “Sex-Camera-Power” by Nina Menkes.

Menkes uncovers patriarchal narrative structures that lie behind supposedly classic set-ups and camera angles.

Making use of feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey’s theses on the objectification and sexualisation of the female body, she shows how aesthetic decisions such as camera movement or lighting influence the perception of women on screen, and how shot design functions as an instrument and a mirror of power relations.

In doing so, she determines a connection between established film language and a culture of misogyny that leads to the abuse of women beyond the screen.

WHEN: Friday 18 Feb 2022, 8pm, in CinemaxX 3

Poster for “Nothing Sacred” by William A. Wellman

Highlight on “Nothing Sacred” by William A. Wellman

Journalist Wally Cook hopes to use small-town beauty Hazel Flagg to restore his tarnished reputation. She has been told that she is dying of radiation poisoning, and Cook plans to promote her as a big-time hero. As it turns out, Hazel’s doctor has since admitted that his diagnosis was in error, but both doctor and patient keep this a secret from Wally….

Produced by Selznick International Pictures, Inc.

This is the 2018 digitally restored version by The Museum of Modern Arts’ Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center.

WHEN: Friday 18 Feb 2022, 7pm, in CinemaxX 8

Read more on the festival website.

“I’m No Angel” by Wesley Ruggles

Highlight on “I’m No Angel” by Wesley Ruggles

“I’m No Angel” is a Retrospective by Wesley Ruggles with Mae West, Cary Grant, Gregory Ratoff, Edward Arnold and Ralf Harolde.

From carny caravan to luxury apartment. Tira starts out as a sideshow performer on the carnival circuit and develops a stellar career as lion tamer. Among her many admirers in New York is wealthy Kirk Lawrence, who is, however, already engaged to be married. 

– Read the whole blurb on the Festival website here

WHEN: Friday 18 Feb 2022, 7pm, in Zeughauskino

Produced by Paramount Productions, Inc.

From the “On Scene” Collection on Berlinale Festival’s website

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